Editorial: Take time to honor their sacrifice

In 238 years of our nation's military history, 1.3 million service members have perished in more than 30 conflicts.

To put that number in perspective, it is roughly equivalent to the population of San Antonio – our nation's seventh largest city. It is the same as the population of Omaha, Atlanta and Kansas City combined. It is a number we can hardly fathom, but it is like losing the entire population of Maine, Hawaii or New Hampshire.

The losses are great in our history, but we are a people proud to serve and proud to sacrifice for our ideals and what we believe to be the greater good. We may not agree with the politics or reasons for every conflict, but we believe in defending our own, our interests and our allies, and when our nation has called, brave men and women have always stepped forward to make that sacrifice.

In war, many nations look upon casualties as a necessary evil and accept them easily as the price of conflict, but we see it differently.
Those 1.3 million casualties did make the ultimate sacrifice, but we do not lump them together as simply the cost of war. We know there are a family and community whom each of those names belongs to, and we recognize the tremendous sacrifice each one represents.

These are not masses, but individuals who gave everything for a particular cause at a particular time and place in our history. The lives and sacrifices of the 26 casualties of the Third Seminole War are every bit as valuable as the 625,000 who perished in the Civil War.

Our nation is not perfect, but it is great for many reasons, and chief among those is our dedication to what we stand for and our willingness to sacrifice to protect it.
Every Memorial Day, we carve out a time to honor each of those 1.3 million service members, but it is important to keep their family members, friends and the communities who lost so much in our thoughts and prayers as well. While it is the service member who sacrifices the most, their families, friends and loved ones have also sacrificed someone very important to them to that greater good we all value.

Take time this Memorial Day to honor those 1.3 million, and if the opportunity arises, thank those who have lost someone as well.

At The Mexia News, we say thank you for all of the sacrifices over two centuries that have helped keep us safe, strong and free.